The Cincinnati Zoo has been packed with visitors this holiday weekend when many of them were shocked by an incident in which a 4-year-old boy crawled through a railing and fell into a moat in a gorilla habitat.
The Cincinnati Zoo shot and killed a western lowland gorilla on Saturday after a 4-year-old boy slipped into the animal’s enclosure, a zoo official said at a news conference.
Harambe, a 17-year-old, 400-pound gorilla, carried the boy around its habitat for about 10 minutes in what the zoo’s dangerous animal response team considered a life-threatening situation, Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard at a press briefing.
After the gorilla was shot with a rifle, the child was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, CNN affiliate WKRC reported.
The western lowland gorilla is a critically endangered species, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s webpage. In the wild, they can be found in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea.